Huge week for injuries, right? Big names like Sam Bradford, Reggie Wayne and Brian Cushing are out for the rest of the season. It's those players, especially if you add in Arian Foster, Doug Martin and others, who drive the headlines.
When some offensive guard or third-string tight goes down, few notice. There's a "next man up" mentality that has led the NFL to accept injuries in some cases, and while it's a necessity, it's also a cop-out.
To say that there's nothing to do that could reduce injuries is false and actively makes the game worse. While injuries will never go to zero, they could go down. Sports science has shown amazing leaps forward, yet the NFL has largely ignored it.
The game runs on received wisdom, passed down from one coach or player to the next, which means that the heart of football today is likely the same as it was for Bronko Nagurski. It might even be his words.
Here's one example: ACL injuries this season are already up over the full season total from 2012 and up from 2011. Barnett Frank, a researcher from UNC, dug into the stats and told me about this alarming increase, but what's the NFL doing about it?
The athletes are bigger, stronger and faster. The game is more open. There's a huge increase in passing over just a decade ago, but injuries? There's no question that there's much more "rub some dirt on it" than cutting edge, despite the best efforts of the athletic trainers and doctors around the game.
Until that changes, I'll have lots to write about. Let's look around the league.